Luca Bercelli previews the second live NFL game on Sunday evening, and fancies the Dallas Cowboys to get the better of the Philadelphia Eagles in their own backyard...
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas coach Jason Garrett preferred to concentrate on the positives after last week's 13-19 loss to the 8-0 Falcons and he had good reason to, even though the win-loss column gets uglier each week. The Falcons are a serious outfit, and limiting them to one touchdown was an excellent defensive performance.
However, the Ten Gallon Hat Mob need to turn good efforts into wins and with the talent at their disposal it's criminal that they're 3-5 at the halfway point. A win against the Eagles can get them back on track and they are meeting the Birds at the best possible time.
The Eagles' morale has been battered harder than Lance Armstrong's christmas card list - 447 yards offence versus the Saints last week for a measly 13 point return must be hard to stomach.
Philly's big problem has been protecting Michael Vick and you have to feel sorry for a quarterback who regularly has two linemen teeing off on him untouched. Their O-line has been decimated; the injury to right tackle Todd Herremans the latest in blow to a unit that has already lost left tackle Jason Peters, right guard Danny Watkins and centre Jason Kelce.
Herremans' replacement, fifth-year-man Demetress Bell looked as if he'd never set foot on a football field in his life; if he lines up on Sunday the Vickster and all Eagles' fans will spend an extra 10 minutes on their pre-game prayer mats. And that's before you even start analysing nine-sack DeMarcus Ware and a quality Cowboy defence.
Yes, MV is hoping for a miracle and if he doesn't get one his Eagles (and maybe NFL) career could be in serious jeopardy. No one wants to see anyone lose their job; but if it results in a few quid extra in our Christmas beer funds then... C'est la Vick.
Cowboys' QB Tony Romo, the Turnover Machine, remained philosophical after yet another defeat last week but if he plays the percentages and builds on what should be a jamboree for his defence a W should be heading his way. Nothing too fancy here, just back the 'Boys for the win @ 1.834/5 and chuck in a slice of 1.9420/21 on the handicap (-1.5 pts).
Back Dallas Cowboys to win @ 1.834/5
Back Dallas Cowboys to win on handicap (-1.5 pts) @ 1.9420/21